MIA: 'I'm inspired by Bob Dylan and Public Enemy'

Controversial singer says political artists influenced her work

Photo: Next Previous

Photo Gallery: MIA

MIA has revealed that Bob Dylan and Public Enemy were influences upon the hard-hitting social messages in her music.

The singer talked about the political nature of her songs while discussing her new album, 'Matangi', on the US TV show The Colbert Report last night (November 20).

Asked by Colbert about her decision to combine dance music with serious lyrics, MIA said she was surprised that American fans found the mix unsettling. "I was inspired by a lot of US artists like Bob Dylan, Public Enemy," she said. "When I put out my first song and came to America I thought you guys were used to it already. I didn't realise it was so shocking."

MIA has become renowned for her political activism and commentary. Speaking to NME last week, she discussed the inspiration behind 'Matangi' as well as her relationship with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who she describes as "one of the smartest people I know".

Talking about Assange, who is living inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faces allegations of sexual assault, MIA says: "That's kind of how they get you these days. It's your character. They don't actually assassinate you like they used to in the '70s. It's not necessary these days."

Assange himself also contributed a quote to the interview. Asked how he would describe his friend MIA, he replied via email, to say: "She's the world's loudest and finest rapping and dancing megaphone for the truth."

Meanwhile, you can can watch the latest instalment in NME's video interview with MIA, in which she says she wants people to know she's "proud" about having to go to court in order to come back to England. You can watch the interview above.


Read More On This Artist

Video: MIA - 'I Want People To Know I Went To Court To Come To England'

More News
X Factor winner Ben Haenow claims Official Christmas Number One
Kiss to collaborate on two songs with Japanese pop group Momoiro Clover Z
Lynyrd Skynyrd to perform first two albums live for DVD release
Q-Tip gives Iggy Azalea hip-hop history lesson in lengthy series of tweets
David Fincher to direct HBO show based on 1980s music video experiences
Questlove tells of years-long attempts to taste Patti LaBelle's cooking in new animated video
Hackers threaten to release Iggy Azalea sex tape snapshots
The Rolling Stones release video thanking fans for recent support
Jenny Lewis and Ryan Adams perform together on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' – watch
Nicki Minaj unveils 16-minute short film 'The Pinkprint Movie' – watch
Azealia Banks and Action Bronson involved in Twitter beef
Tyler the Creator and Erykah Badu to star in Adult Swim cartoon special about police brutality
Chris Martin says Angelina Jolie 'kidnapped' him to write a song for her new film
Sky Ferreira shares DIIV-directed home video for 'Omanko'
Madonna rush-releases six new tracks following album leak
U2 accused of 'poor taste' for video based on sectarian violence in Northern Ireland
First Aid Kit share video for cover of REM's 'Walk Unafraid'
Grimes says Dizzee Rascal is one of her 'all time favourite musicians'
Broken Social Scene share new song 'Golden Facelift'
James Murphy streams 'Remixes Made With Tennis Data' album
Incubus reveal plan to release two EPs in 2015
Funding campaign launched for planned Hip Hop Hall of Fame museum

More News

Comments

Please login to add your comment.

Latest Tickets - Booking Now
 
Know Your NME
 

 
NME Store & Framed Prints
Inside NME.COM